Standing Up for Illinois - Office of Lt Governor Pat Quinn

National Road (Us Rt. 40) Tour

Once called Cumberland Road or the National Pike, US Route 40 is a National Scenic Byway that spans 3,091 miles from coast to coast.

Atlantic City, New Jersey is the far eastern city and its western end is San Francisco, California.

The National Road traces its roots back to 1806 when Congress was looking for ways to unify a growing America.

During this time the eastern part of the United States was more developed than the expanding west. As a result, the first federally funded highway was created, known as the “National Road”.

In Illinois today, US Route 40 intersects 25 towns and travels through 6 counties, including 3 Illinois Main Street communities: Marshall, Vandalia and Collinsville. The route parallels Interstate 70, running east/west through southern Illinois.

Each year towns along the Illinois route participate in the National Road Festival, a two-day celebration of US Route 40. Towns organize various activities and events for their community and tourists. Popular festivities include car shows, tractor pulls, horse shows and games. To learn more about this year’s festival, log on to Join the fun!

Start your historic National Road tour in the Main Street town of Marshall. Located at the intersection of Route 1 and US Route 40, Marshall is home to the oldest hotel in Illinois and has seven listings on the National Register of Historic Places. Other local attractions include the 1831 stone arch bridge and the Lincoln Trail State Park. Marshall offers several unique downtown businesses and restaurants.

As you leave Marshall, continue heading west on US Route 40 through the towns of Greenup, Effingham and St. Elmo and to the Main Street town of Vandalia. Stop in the Vandalia Statehouse Historic Site. This statehouse is the oldest capitol building in Illinois currently occupied. Learn about Vandalia’s history of capitol buildings from 1820 to 1835.

There is also a rich history of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln started his illustrious political career as a State Representative in Vandalia. Take time to visit the Main Street Vandalia “Sitting With Lincoln” project – a life-size bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting on a bench. You will not have to walk very far to view the statue, it is located across the street from the statehouse in Lincoln Park.

Vandalia is also home to the Fayette County Museum and Artworks, Little Brick House, Madonna of the Trail statue and multiple restaurants and antique shops.

A comfortable drive further west on US Route 40 will take you into the Metro-St. Louis area and to the Main Street town of Collinsville. Enjoy late 1800’s and early 1900’s architecture in the central business district. Stretch your legs by taking a walking tour and view the 150 year old D.D. Collins House, stately Blum House and the historic Miner’s Theatre. Collinsville is also home to the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle (water tower) and the Collinsville Historical Museum. You’ll enjoy all the attractions Downtown Collinsville, Inc. has to offer!

Listen to National Road Audio Tour
Untitled Document
 Our Towns
 Take a Tour!
Untitled Document

Illinois Main Street Calendar

08/07/2008 7:00pm -8:00pm
Concerts in the Park - Lincoln Park, Downtown Vandalia
Lincoln Park, Downtown Vandalia
Vandalia Main Street's Summer Concert Series Band: TBA Genre: TBA
Vandalia Main Street, 618-283-8751,,
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08/07/2008 7:30 pm -approx 1 1/2 hrs
Concerts In The Park - Settlers Park
Settlers Park
Appearing Mr Myers - call for more info at Settlers Park info line @ 815-609-6124
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